Vandalism of church, Christmas display result in separate arrest - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Vandalism of church, Christmas display result in separate arrests

Posted: Updated:

The vandalism of a Round Rock church and the firebombing of a family Christmas display in Georgetown have resulted in separate Felony arrests.

A statue of Jesus, holding two children, is one Margaret Matthews's favorite in her yard. A fresh coat of paint covers the scars that soap and water could not remove.

"So they chose this one to bomb," said Matthews.

Each year the statue is illuminated with a flood light as part of a modest Christmas display at Matthews' Georgetown home. Early Tuesday morning, after being awakened by her door bell, Matthews found the statue aglow in a different kind of light, fire.

"And I glanced up here and this was flaming like a foot and a half," said Matthews.

According to this arrest warrant, two neighborhood teenagers set the fire by using an old basketball filled with gas, fireworks and jello. A sparkler was used as the fuse.

The teenagers, Jake Elliott and Michael Vaello, both 19, were charged with possession of a prohibited weapon.

After the fire, the two returned to the Matthews home, claiming their home was also vandalized.

"It was a big cockamamie story and I said I'm sorry young man … I don't believe you," said Matthews.

The felony arrest was apparently prompted by the investigator's concern about how close the fire took place to a bedroom window.

Video clips posed on YouTube video show the force that can be produced by a basketball bomb. The images show they can be larger than what was expected. Matthews does not consider what happened to be a simple prank.

"They're criminal and they should be dwelt with," said Matthews.

It was noted in the arrest report that the teens said boredom was their only excuse.

In an unrelated incident, A Round Rock church was also vandalized. According to court documents, the story behind this case is a man who allegedly could not stop stealing from God.

St. John Vianney Catholic Church was broken into multiple times from early October through much of November.

The items listed as stolen or damaged include hand crafted doors, computers, a ceremonial cross and candles, as well as money from the donation box.

Finger-prints led Round Rock police to 24-year-old Hector Ademio Garcia. He is facing felony burglary charges.

The church pastor was not available for an interview but members of the Parish say they forgive Garcia and are praying for him. Margaret Matthews feels the same for the teenagers accused of vandalizing her home, but forgiveness doesn't exactly mean to forget.

"And I pray mercy on everyone, but there is justice to be had too, and discipline. And young people definitely need discipline," said Matthews.

The two teenagers were released from jail after each posted a $5,000 bond. Garcia remained in jail as of Monday afternoon. Bond for him is set at $55,000.

Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices